TeMPOraL's recent activity

  1. Comment on A proposed scientific balloon flight in northern Sweden has attracted opposition from environmental groups over fears it could lead to the use of solar geoengineering in ~enviro

    TeMPOraL
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    I understand Raymond's very valid concerns, but I disagree with this view. I'd say more of that thinking is great idea, because it would be a welcome change of pace. We didn't get where we are...

    Our childish belief that we understood our environment well enough that we could mold it to our will without consequence got us here. I'm reasonably certain more of that thinking isn't a great idea.

    I understand Raymond's very valid concerns, but I disagree with this view. I'd say more of that thinking is great idea, because it would be a welcome change of pace.

    We didn't get where we are because of scientists full of hubris, who thought they can control the environment. We got here because of people chasing wealth, who at each point along the way were faced with a question, "should I do this and make some money, at the cost of some negligible environmental impact", a question to which they answered with a resounding "yes"... and it was fine, and it ushered us into age of unprecedented wealth, until all the countless negligible environmental impacts accumulated into the mess we're in right now.

    We got here because of short-term, greedy optimization - which is the opposite of understanding and controlling the environment. Until now, we didn't even try controlling the environment. Now we have no choice but to do so, because we've almost pushed it out of its stability envelope. So we may as well get good at it.

    Is geoengineering an answer? No. A part of the answer? Possibly, but maybe it's too dangerous. But we need to start applying a bit more brains, and a bit less of profit-chasing to the question.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Cyberpunk 2077's easter eggs feel like marketing in ~games

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Could this be a cultural/national barrier? IIRC The Witcher had plenty of jokes that were funny to Polish people. Maybe they didn't localize well. That said, the DRM quest is definitely not funny....

    Come to think about it, most of the jokes in Witcher didn't really land for me.

    Could this be a cultural/national barrier? IIRC The Witcher had plenty of jokes that were funny to Polish people. Maybe they didn't localize well.

    That said, the DRM quest is definitely not funny. It's pretty hamfisted even for a product placement.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Shadow Of Mordor's nemesis system is patented, which sucks in ~games

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Thanks for tracking this down and providing details. Before posting my comment, I skimmed the original link and "DuckDuckGoed" the patent by name, viewing first links, but I only ever saw the...

    Thanks for tracking this down and providing details. Before posting my comment, I skimmed the original link and "DuckDuckGoed" the patent by name, viewing first links, but I only ever saw the application, dated 2016, with no indication there were any further changes in its state. I guess I should've Googled it instead...

    Definitely looks more dangerous / chilling now. Still not patented, though, and I wish the article included some of the details you just did (or even linked to Google's patent page).

    4 votes
  4. Comment on Shadow Of Mordor's nemesis system is patented, which sucks in ~games

    TeMPOraL
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I apologize, I didn't mean to imply you are at fault here. I assumed that you simply took the submission title from the title of the article. I'll make sure to make this distinction clear in the...

    I apologize, I didn't mean to imply you are at fault here. I assumed that you simply took the submission title from the title of the article. I'll make sure to make this distinction clear in the future.

    My gripe is only with journalists, because I'm getting tired of the real-world conversations with real people that follow the pattern of:

    X: Did you know that ${something interesting or outrageous}?
    Me: Wow, that's interesting/outrageous! I'd like to know more.
    X: Here's an article I just saw.
    Me reading the article
    Me: You know, I just read the article, and ${something interesting or outrageous} is not true. Here, look <points at the contents inside the article>. It's just a lie in the headline. Again.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Why type systems matter for UX: an example in ~comp

    TeMPOraL
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    Reminds me of the kind of user interfaces that existed on the Lisp Machines, and of The Common Lisp Interface Manager in particular (which, in more recent times, lives on as open source project,...

    Reminds me of the kind of user interfaces that existed on the Lisp Machines, and of The Common Lisp Interface Manager in particular (which, in more recent times, lives on as open source project, McCLIM).

    One of the key features there was an easy way to create "presentations" of objects. You had an API for "outputting objects to streams" that let you put a text, image or a widget representing an object in your program. You could then do contextful UI interactions against it. On top of that, if you wanted to execute a command that accepted objects of a particular type, you could just select/point at any of the presentations on screen (of that same type) to run the command on them.

    Example interaction, riffing off TFA's example. You're in your mail program, and click "Reply to" button. All currently visible e-mails in your inbox get highlighted, and if you click on any of them, that will be the e-mail you'll be replying to. Alternatively, you can select an e-mail first, and click "Reply to", to get the standard behavior (as the argument to "Reply to" command is already selected). Say you want to add recipients; you press an "Add" button in your reply's "To:" field. All visible e-mail addresses get highlighted (including e.g. in previews of other messages in your inbox), and you can pick them.

    I poked around the codebase of one of the old CLIM implementations in the past, but I didn't do much GUI development with it. My thoughts on this paradigm are, that I think it requires you to reify and explicitly express more UI concepts than you'd otherwise be prepared to do. From the user's point of view, I think nobody is used to the concept of things on the screen being "presentations" of actual things. We're more used to specific screens offering specific actions.

    The post seems to be from 2013, and interestingly enough, Microsoft Office sort of embraced pieces of this style as it introduced and evolved the ribbon. Today, when you click on stuff, the contents of the ribbon change to reveal actions you can perform on your selections / in your state. And this turns out to be confusing, at least for me. There's no place I can browse to discover what actions I could take if I selected the right thing. I need to select and hope the action will show up on the ribbon.

    (The interface is buggy, too. Not a week goes by where Outlook confuses itself about the message I'm writing, and the "Attach" button disappears. I have to close my draft and reopen it in a separate window to get the button back.)

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Shadow Of Mordor's nemesis system is patented, which sucks in ~games

    TeMPOraL
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    Applied for a patent. Not patented. This turns the headline from informative into a bald-faced lie. Which is then also repeated in the opening paragraph. I hate when journalists do this. A lot of...

    Warner Bros. applied for a patent on the system back in 2015. So far as I can tell, it's an application that hasn't officially been granted a patent number, but it seems the chilling effect on developers who might want to tinker with a similar system is the same.

    Applied for a patent. Not patented. This turns the headline from informative into a bald-faced lie. Which is then also repeated in the opening paragraph.

    I hate when journalists do this. A lot of people only skim headlines. Lying in a headline, even if the article corrects it, is just an act of mass epistemic poisoning.

    8 votes
  7. Comment on Do you have an internal narrative or monologue, and if so what do you mean by that? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Thanks for sharing, you just put another axis on my mental model of this phenomenon! I though people who could translate vision to drawings would score very high on this chart. Your case suggests...

    Thanks for sharing, you just put another axis on my mental model of this phenomenon! I though people who could translate vision to drawings would score very high on this chart. Your case suggests that these two things are independent.

    (I wonder who came up with the test image, too. When I saw it the first time, I immediately noticed the background color noise was a great representation of what I "see" as a backdrop when I close my eyes in a dark room.)

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Who's on the fediverse? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
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    @temporal@mastodon.technology I post random thoughts with strong bias towards Lisp, Emacs, and space technologies.

    @temporal@mastodon.technology

    I post random thoughts with strong bias towards Lisp, Emacs, and space technologies.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Do you have an internal narrative or monologue, and if so what do you mean by that? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
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    I've had this conversation just last week on HN, covering internal monologue and aphantasia. Other people chimed in there; you may find these valuable datapoints. To make it short: I have an...

    I've had this conversation just last week on HN, covering internal monologue and aphantasia. Other people chimed in there; you may find these valuable datapoints.

    To make it short:

    • I have an internal monologue narrating stuff, though it's not always present. All my thinking happens through internal monologue - but surprisingly, typing often does not. In particular, as I type in this comment, I type at the speed of thought.
    • The above is probably why I gravitated towards thinking deeply by talking to myself through a text file. I don't have "double narration" experience then, and it's easier to keep the thoughts cohesive over time if I don't try to "remember" what I said to myself in my head.
    • Regarding aphantasia, on this test image, I score 1-2, maybe 3 on a good day. My wife scores an easy 6. We only discovered that a month or two ago.
    • As mentioned in the HN thread, I have good trivia/history memory, bad situational/people's name memory, and weak ability to recognize people's faces.
    3 votes
  10. Comment on What games have you played the "wrong" way? in ~games

    TeMPOraL
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    There was this game long ago called Colobot (short for "Colonize with Bots"), a first-person, kid-friendly RTS where you built robots and fought oversized insects. The key aspect was that robots...

    There was this game long ago called Colobot (short for "Colonize with Bots"), a first-person, kid-friendly RTS where you built robots and fought oversized insects. The key aspect was that robots were programmable - the game run an internal VM for a Java-like language, and you had an editor in-game to script what your robots did. You could e.g. build a robot that flew around the world hunting for insects and coming back to refuel as it run out of power - and then another robot who would automatically swap batteries of anyone coming back for a recharge. Insect AI was scripted the same way too; with a cheat code, you could take control, and view (and edit) the contents of the enemy's "brains".

    The one time that I played this game improperly was during my university years. I wanted to score some extra points on a class assignment, so I built a "state machine visualizer". I programmed a simple finite state machine (FSM) onto a flyer in Colobot, and used the file IO API in Colobot to continuously dump the FSM's state into a text file; I wrote another piece of code in Processing that displayed a diagram of that same FSM, highlighting the currently executing state (which it got by continuously reading the file saved by Colobot). I then run them side by side and achieved my goal of impressing the TA :).

    8 votes
  11. Comment on The battle inside Signal - The fast-growing encrypted messaging app is developing features that would make it more vulnerable to abuse. Current and former employees are sounding the alarm. in ~tech

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    I've been long maintaining the belief that crossing the Dunbar's number is the point at which a group has to split, or introduce some sort of hierarchical governance system, because it can no...

    I've been long maintaining the belief that crossing the Dunbar's number is the point at which a group has to split, or introduce some sort of hierarchical governance system, because it can no longer rely solely on interpersonal relationships to foster cooperation and police behavior. The hierarchies may appear earlier (particularly, if the group is a named thing to which people voluntarily join - the hierarchy starts with the people most active in building the group), but there's no need for any kind of formal process as long as everyone repeatedly interacts with everyone else.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Sometimes it is, but I didn't use this word in that way here. What I meant is that the market in general, through countless little feedback loops in it, will correct for extra disposable income...

    Sometimes it is, but I didn't use this word in that way here. What I meant is that the market in general, through countless little feedback loops in it, will correct for extra disposable income available in a population.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    The DOI of the paper in question is 10.1177/0146167219883611, and I'm hoping I'm not breaking the etiquette of Tildes by mentioning in passing that there's this site called SciHub...

    and while looking it up again I was once again reminded of how shitty the world of paper publishing is beyond compsci, where everything is free on arxiv.

    The DOI of the paper in question is 10.1177/0146167219883611, and I'm hoping I'm not breaking the etiquette of Tildes by mentioning in passing that there's this site called SciHub...

    8 votes
  14. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Same here. I remember remarking to my wife some years ago that there's this unquestioned assumption in most societies that prioritizes lives of women and young, and that I was curious where it...

    Same here. I remember remarking to my wife some years ago that there's this unquestioned assumption in most societies that prioritizes lives of women and young, and that I was curious where it came from. Then I became a father, and now I know. Sure, this may be confounded by me growing up in a culture that already has this assumption, but still - I value my life lower than that of my wife and my child, and would give it up in a heartbeat if it meant saving either of them.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on What's hard about being a man? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Doesn't even take someone harassing others. At this point, there's a distributed, cultural pressure for women to work. My wife is struggling with deciding whether to return to the workforce...

    Like I mentioned, some people use the language of progress and equality as a cover for their own desire to harass people.

    Doesn't even take someone harassing others. At this point, there's a distributed, cultural pressure for women to work. My wife is struggling with deciding whether to return to the workforce quickly, or spend more time caring for our kid. And number one thought she keeps coming back to is that, if she picks stay-at-home parenting, unspecified "other people" will think she's a pathological case, sitting on her ass exploiting social benefits. She can't trace where that thought is coming from. I suspect it comes from social media.

    The whole point of movements like feminism is that it allows people to choose their own way to live.

    Related, it turns out there's an unforeseen extra pressure that takes away the choice: the market. The market was very quick to notice that, as so many women were joining the work force, average household income started rising. And it very quickly compensated for that, so these days, for many couples dual-income is a baseline necessity. The choice to have one of the parents focus on raising children is no longer available in many places, particularly those of economic opportunity.

    11 votes
  16. Comment on What's something you wish people outside of your field knew/understood? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Your lack of is correct, but it's up to the people who understand this to explain it better to the people whose dayjob is dealing with Colour of things - and we can't do that if ourselves we don't...

    Your lack of is correct, but it's up to the people who understand this to explain it better to the people whose dayjob is dealing with Colour of things - and we can't do that if ourselves we don't understand the concept, and its importance to the "other side". Judging by the conversations I've been in over the years, a lot of people in tech don't understand this, hence me linking the article in this thread.

  17. Comment on What's something you wish people outside of your field knew/understood? in ~talk

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    You make very good points here, but on the one I quoted above, I wish people in our industry understood more about how the legal system looks at it. It would cut down on so much talking past each...

    in a computer, a picture, sound, or movie is just a series of numbers representing color, movement, or air pressure

    You make very good points here, but on the one I quoted above, I wish people in our industry understood more about how the legal system looks at it. It would cut down on so much talking past each other in discussions around piracy and IP protection.

    The particular thing I'd wish more technologists understood is the "color of bits" - a concept introduced in a somewhat prominent blog post, "What Colour are your bits?". The key insight is that computers (and computer scientists) deal with information, while the legal system deals with humans. In context of information, that often means its provenance. How a particular piece of data came to be, and why (generalized by the aforementioned article as "colour").

    That's why "what if I pulled this copyrighted work out of /dev/urandom" isn't an argument for the legal system, because in reality you downloaded it via a torrent client. Your bits may be 1:1 identical to hypothetical RNG output, but they bear the colour "Torrented", and not the colour "independently produced via a RNG, with no causal exposure to a copyrighted work".

    There's a lot to say about whether IP laws are a good idea in their current form; myself I'm not a fan of them. But it would be easier to talk about it if we could, in tech community, stop getting tripped by questions of mathematical trickery. The law isn't interested in the value of the bits. It cares about their color.

    9 votes
  18. Comment on A positive ContentID story in ~tech

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Off-topic, but you have to appreciate the irony of this name, given the other expansion of "CCTV"...

    China Central Television (CCTV)

    Off-topic, but you have to appreciate the irony of this name, given the other expansion of "CCTV"...

    2 votes
  19. Comment on The scary power of the companies that finally shut Trump up in ~tech

    TeMPOraL
    Link Parent
    Fair, but I think more important chart for these discussions is this one - percentage of users by country. In the US, it was 87% in 2014, and I don't think it went down over the past 6 years....

    A quick research seems to indicate that at least 5 billions Earthlings do not have access to the internet, let alone to Fakebook et al.

    Fair, but I think more important chart for these discussions is this one - percentage of users by country. In the US, it was 87% in 2014, and I don't think it went down over the past 6 years. Sure, it was 10% in Bangladesh, but Bangladesh also doesn't have nukes, or an outsized influence on global economy and culture.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    TeMPOraL
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    I've been thinking about all these discussions about social media platforms and censorship (which I frankly find boring - they mostly rehash the same extreme and misguided arguments for and...

    I've been thinking about all these discussions about social media platforms and censorship (which I frankly find boring - they mostly rehash the same extreme and misguided arguments for and against censorship). Then it hit me: since the public square has essentially become outsourced to private companies, governments can engage in censorship laundering - instead of overtly declaring someone or something as undesirable, they can just pressure private companies to ban topics and deplatform people. Suddenly, it's "not censorship", because "private companies don't owe you a platform".

    I'm not saying this was the case here (I'm favoring the "social media companies decide to kiss the new US government's ass, just like they always do" hypothesis), but I think it's pretty plausible that this is happening in the US in general. It's similar to how government can exert control on journalists - just a hint of pulling priority access to interesting stories is enough to keep news publishing in check.

    15 votes